Weekly Newsletter

January 2021 vol. 3

Most Valuable Player
Confession of a rancher - I’m not really an animal person. 
I don't fuss over cute cat photos or puppy kisses. I'm too utilitarian for that sort of nonsense.  Don't get me wrong, I love animals, but I love them as animals - and not just because they provide us with meat.  They fulfill an ecological function that, when managed correctly, adds value to the ecosystem.  The most valuable animals that we have are our Livestock Guardian Dogs, Bonnie and Princess.
If you haven’t met Bonnie and Princess, allow me to catch you up… They are 11 year old Anatolian Shepherds that weigh close to 150lbs each.  A few years back we lost several turkeys to a coyote attack. I had been playing the odds by not having good predictor protection and it cost me severely.  We’d lost a few chickens to predators here and there, but when you lose 9 full grown turkeys 4 weeks before Thanksgiving, it really makes you think.  So we contacted a local breeder and though they had a few dogs available, they weren’t quite “chicken trained”. So they loaned us Bonnie and Princess for a few months.  Long story short, a few months have become a few years, and I am still blown away by how perfect they are. 
From day one they knew their place at the ranch. Somehow they knew where the boundaries of the property were and which animals were friends and which were foes.  Each night they go to work patrolling the perimeter - warding off the evil that lurks in the darkness.  Every morning they greet me with affection when I do morning chores. They are majestic beasts that rule the night.  Yet they are gentle and friendly with those in their care.  Somehow they intuitively know the difference.  Same goes for people. They know that delivery drivers are not a threat, but that stranger that pulls into the drive and hesitates needs to be viewed with skepticism. 
That’s not to say we haven’t lost any animals.  For one, the girls are getting older, and they call it quits after sunup.  Second, there are some parts of the property they won't enter because they are surrounded by electric fencing.  We have tried to get other dogs to help pick up the slack, but unfortunately with dire results (chickens are just too tasty). Perhaps they’ve set the bar of my expectations too high.   
Confession of a rancher's wife - I am an animal lover.
I love a good cat photo (not so much into the puppy kisses) and have always had instant connections with animals. I often recharge by plopping myself down in a pasture and watching our animals do their thing. I love listening to our flock of laying hens coo and sing to one another and serve as an audience of one to their dramas. I might have been more excited than the pigs were when they got to move into their new pasture with a creek to play in and oaks trees to slumber under - pig heaven! What could be more grounding than concentrating on the essentials of life - family, food, and safety - with the cattle?
Many customers have shared that they would find it challenging to raise the animals that they eat, and I definitely understand their point of view. Although I love our livestock, they are no more my pets than the birds in the sky or pocket gophers in the ground. I see them as fellow members of  the ebb and flow of life and spirit we all share and I’m grateful for this lifestyle and the animals that make it possible. Especially the dogs who keep us all safe!

Weekly Markets

Pflugerville Winter Market hours have changed! 
3 pm - 6 pm
Every Tuesday

Monthly Markets

Be well, 

stay safe,


John & Molly